•Setback for PDP presidential candidate in Benue.

•Ex-Ondo governor vows not to ditch Wike.

The governor said the former vice president should apologise for lying against him.

He said Atiku should apologise to him publicly for alleging that his people were stealing herdsmen’s cattle in Benue.

The governor said Atiku’s private apology to him was inadequate.

Ortom maintained that he cannot mobilise support for the PDP candidate because of their irreconcilable differences.

Also, former Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko rejected the offer of PDP Presidential Campaign Coordinator for Ondo State, saying that he cannot abandon Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and other chieftains calling for the choice of a national chairman from the South.

Ortom spoke while receiving Jemgbah youths under the aegis of ‘Jemgbah Youth Support Group (JYSG), in the Government House, Makurdi, the state capital.

Also on Tuesday, a group, MINDA Leader of Thought said they will not work for Atiku over his comment against Ortom during the meeting of the Arewa Consultative Forum in Kaduna.

The youths had stormed the Government House to endorse him for Senate.

Ortom said: “Immediately I heard the news, I sent him a message on WhatsApp and he apologised to me.

“I told him to make the apology public, but he declined, and I am saying he cannot undress an elder like me in public and then, come back to dress me in a room.

“He lied against me and I take exceptions to that because what he said is hate speech.”

The governor faulted Atiku’s claim that he issued a blanket condemnation that all Fulani people are bad, pointing out that he never made such pronouncement.

He stressed: “Some Fulani people are my friends. I trust them to a point of even taking them to my bedroom and I have not sent any Fulani man away from Benue.

“It is only the foreign ones that came from Mali, Mauritania, among others, that are terrorising our people.

“Atiku, you have been very unfair to Benue people and Fulani people alone cannot make you the president.”

Ortom however said that in spite of the PDP crisis, he would work toward its victory at all levels in the state.

He said no matter what happened, a baby cannot be thrown away with the birth water.

He maintained: “I am committed to the victory of the party at all levels in the state,” he said.

Ortom commended President Muhammadu Buhari for condemning the attacks by suspected herdsmen in Gbeji in Ukum Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The governor flayed Atiku for not sympathizing with the victims of floods in Benue State.

The Chairman of Gboko LGA, Mr Isaac Mtom, said the group visited the governor to identify with him over his developmental strides and to condemn Atiku’s outburst.

Mtom said Atiku’s statement clearly showed that he did not meant well for Benue people.

Mimiko vows to stick with Wike on PDP crisis

Mimiko vowed not to abandon his support for Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on his call for equity within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mimiko was named leader of the Ondo PDP Presidential Campaign Council.

The Council would be inaugurated tomorrow.

But Mimiko, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Digital Communications, John Paul Akinduro, said he was inundated with calls and messages from political associate on whether he has abandoned Wike, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde and their colleague governors.

Mimiko who described it as fake news said he has not abandoned the agitation for equity in the PDP, and in particular, the quest for national chairman from the South.

He said the report and the list that triggered it were fake and a deliberate attempt to muddle things up and smear his name.

Akinduro said: “It must be stated with emphasis that Dr. Mimiko was neither consulted by anyone nor consented to his inclusion in any Ondo state PDP Presidential Campaign Council list.

“For the avoidance of doubt and to set the record straight, Dr Mimiko is unwavering in his commitment to the principle of equity, fairness and justice through which he believes a credible push for a PDP victory is possible.

“He fully subscribes to the agitation by his colleagues and other stakeholders in PDP and the generality of Nigerians that the PDP structure must reflect Nigeria’s diversity, if it genuinely wants to unify a visibly divided country.”

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